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EVERY so often someone asks me: “What’s your favorite country, other than your own?”

Josh Haner/The New York Times

Thomas L. Friedman


I’ve always had the same answer: Taiwan. “Taiwan? Why Taiwan?” people ask.

Very simple: Because Taiwan is a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea with no natural resources to live off of — it even has to import sand and gravel from China for construction — yet it has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. Because rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence — men and women. I always tell my friends in Taiwan: “You’re the luckiest people in the world. How did you get so lucky? You have no oil, no iron ore, no forests, no diamonds, no gold, just a few small deposits of coal and natural gas — and because of that you developed the habits and culture of honing your people’s skills, which turns out to be the most valuable and only truly renewable resource in the world today. How did you get so lucky?”

That, at least, was my gut instinct. But now we have proof.

A team from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., has just come out with a fascinating little study mapping the correlation between performance on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, exam — which every two years tests math, science and reading comprehension skills of 15-year-olds in 65 countries — and the total earnings on natural resources as a percentage of G.D.P. for each participating country. In short, how well do your high school kids do on math compared with how much oil you pump or how many diamonds you dig?

 The results indicated that there was a “a significant negative relationship between the money countries extract from national resources and the knowledge and skills of their high school population,” said Andreas Schleicher, who oversees the PISA exams for the O.E.C.D. “This is a global pattern that holds across 65 countries that took part in the latest PISA assessment.” Oil and PISA don’t mix. (See the data map at: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/43/9/49881940.pdf.)


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40 Taiwanese foods we can't live without
From mountains of shaved ice to chicken cutlets as big as your face, Taiwanese eats all come with superlatives
By Hiufu Wong

Small eats are the big thing in Taiwan where the philosophy is eat often and eat well.

Sure, there's the internationally accepted three-meals-a-day format of dining, but why be so limited when you can make like the Taiwanese and do some gourmet snacking at any time of the day, all day, every day?

The capital Taipei has around 20 streets dedicated to snacking.

Every time you think you've found the best streetside bao, the most incredible stinky tofu stand or mind-blowing beef noodle soup, there's always another one that surpasses it.

Taiwanese food is a mash-up of the cuisines of Min Nan, Teochew and Hokkien Chinese communities, as well as Japanese cuisine.


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Taipei, June 8 (CNA) Bubblicity, Ireland's first Taiwanese bubble tea shop, has quickly gained a following among Dubliners since opening in May.

The launch of the drink shop has also brought widespread attention to Taiwan's famous bubble tea drink from Irish radio broadcasters and television channel.

Dublin Institute of Technology student Robert O'Hara, who majors in trade and Chinese, said he has been inviting classmates to try out the shop's drinks after class.

O'Hara, who once wrote a report for school on Taiwan's bubble tea market, said he hoped to taste the authentic version of the Taiwanese drink when he begins a stint as an exchange student at National Chengchi University later this year.

The founders of the shop -- Karl Mulvee, Ronan Murphy, and Ivano Cafolla -- were working in different businesses before deciding to give the beverage shop a try.

The three decided to import the Taiwanese drink after stumbling across bubble tea during a visit to London, and they hope to one day be able to visit Taiwan, the acknowledged kingdom of bubble tea.

What makes the shop unusual is the founders' insistence on sticking to traditional Taiwanese flavors and accessories by importing all of their ingredients from tapioca balls to thick straws from Taiwan.

The seals on the top of the cups even come with printed traditional Chinese characters for terms such as "half sugar" and "no ice."

Murphy said Irish people like to try out new things, and the shop will let first timers know that the drink comes from Taiwan and encourage customers to come up with their own flavors.

Through this practice, more Irish people have been introduced to Taiwan's food culture and have found themselves impressed by Taiwan's ability to innovate, Murphy said.

The founders plan to open more branches in Ireland and even expand their business into Germany.

While visiting the shop, Taiwan's representative to Ireland Harry Tseng said that the country's bubble tea has been transformed from a night market snack into an international ambassador for Taiwanese culinary.

News source:http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?Type=aEDU&ID=201206080038


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Shaun Bettinson is a British man who loves Taiwan very much. He would like to show his love to Taiwan by putting a massive poster composed of 20121010 photos on Taipei 101 on Double 10th Day this year. In the photos, everyone must do the V pose. You can learn more about him here:



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Google Street View - Google Germany GmbH

Google德語版街景廣告 竟出現台灣國旗
新頭殼 更新日期:"2010/11/22 14:50" NewTalk 新頭殼

新頭殼newtalk 2010.11.22 林禾寧/綜合報導

經過長時間的爭議,Google公司的street view服務,終於在11月18日在德國推出,為了介紹這個新服務,Google特別推出德語版街景廣告,在這支小黃人的世界旅遊地圖1分多鐘影片中,眼尖的網友發現,亞洲地區的代表國家竟選擇台灣,台北街頭、台灣國旗都出現在廣告中,讓看見的台灣網友驚呼連連。

Google公司的street view服務,一直在德國引起很大的爭議,德國消費者保護部批評這項服務明顯侵犯當地居民的隱私。在幾番周折討論後,Google公司允諾在一些主要建築物打上馬賽克後,終於讓街景服務得以在18日上路,於網路上介紹20多個德國城市。

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